One of the things I have always questioned throughout my life, whether consciously or subconsciously is this notion of “ownership” by Christians who claim either subtly or blatantly that being “saved,” “good,” “charitable,” “Godly,” “loving,” and Truthful is the exclusive mark of a Christian – as if these qualities could not be present in a Muslim, a Hindu, and most certainly not an atheist. There is a claim of exclusive “ownership” of Truth and salvation by Christians – as if they have a monopoly on it. This foundational belief within Christianity is clearly stated in the famous passage from John 16:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” This false notion of the exclusivity of Truth makes for good salesmanship. Creating want by dividing the “haves” from the “have-nots” is the ultimate technique of every salesman. After all, if you believe you are the exclusive beholder of something others “need,” and can sell it with promises that appeal to our most primal ego wants and desires, such as “eternal life” in Heaven, you can more easily coerce others into buying what you have. This way of thinking stems from our need to feel “special,” and “better” than others, as well as our either hidden or no-so-hidden desires to control and dominate others by exerting power over them when we claim to have what they do not. The arrogance, childishness, and insidiousness of the belief in the exclusive ownership of Truth is striking. Every salesman knows that by making exclusive ownership claims, we create the necessary leverage to convince others why they should buy what it is we are selling. When we do this with Truth, we simply reduce it to yet another commodity which can be pushed around, manipulated, and peddled by salesmen such as preachers, gurus, and priests. The problem is, what these people are selling cannot be Truth because Truth cannot be bought nor sold – at any price – not in exchange for blood, money, or anything else.
By identifying ourselves with a group, a nation, a tribe, a religion, or any other entity, we validate our egos which crave defining its identity by attaching itself to concepts and ideas it finds pleasing to itself. And while the ego deludes itself into believing its personal preference for the things it identifies with are “right,” “good,” and “most holy,” these things are arbitrary notions which change from person to person. In other words, they are only opinions of what the ego believes are “valid paths to truth,” and nothing more. “Holy wars” are conflicts over this very thing – the petty disagreement about which things we identify with are “right,” and which are “wrong” – about which “version of truth” is “right,” as if Truth is an opinion or a belief. This notion of exclusive ownership of “the truth,” which is especially evident within Christian thought, is the hallmark of ignorance, arrogance, narcissism, and obsessive egotism. Whenever we believe we have possession of “the truth,” we then feel “justified” in preaching our “good news” to all of the other “lost souls” whom we believe need to hear of our “truth.” The incredible arrogance of the notion we can somehow “save” others by convincing them to believe as we do is astounding. It is also a maker of war and all kinds of mischief because what we call “conversion,” is actually just a softer word for coercion, which in reality serves no other purpose than to justify our egos and its corresponding beliefs. It is not for the sake of “God” or for the salvation of other “lost souls” when we try to convert others, but for our egos and their need to be validated in being “right.”
What is most revealing about the truth of Christian motivations is the fact this arrogance is the hallmark of Jesus’ ministry and preaching. That alone proves Jesus’ fraudulence, regardless of whether he was a Roman invention as we discovered in “Caesar’s Messiah,” or a historical person who actually lived. Either way, his teaching is a fraud, not because it is a bad idea to forgive those who sin against us, or to love others, but because he claims something which is fundamentally fraudulent – the notion that Truth is exclusive and can be owned, which it cannot be. The golden rule to do unto others as we would have them do unto us is not a Truth which is “owned” by anyone – neither Jesus nor anyone else. It is a Universal Truth which belongs to nobody. Truth cannot be owned nor is it exclusive. No single person is “the way, the truth, and the life,” because Truth cannot be the exclusive possession or claim of any person, god, organization, or tribe since Truth cannot be owned.
The reason why neither Truth nor anything else can be owned is because the entire ownership illusion stems from the fundamental ego illusion – the notion of the reality of the permanent self, which as we have discovered several times before, is inherently false. The premise is, “since I exist, I therefore own.” Since the “I” is ultimately not a permanent reality, then the very notion of ownership in general is also an illusion. Of course, we do “own” things in a sense. We own our clothes, our homes, our cars, etc. But this notion of ownership is a temporary illusion because all things, including our egos, are temporary and impermanent. In Truth, nobody owns anything. The reason is because there is in Truth, nothing to own and nobody to own something else. Since all forms, including our egos, are temporary and impermanent, then all notions of “ownership” are ultimately illusory since all forms are ever-changing. What was once “owned” by someone in the past is then owned by someone else in the future after they die. The thing which is owned in the present and the past is then no longer owned in the future when it is destroyed or ceases to exist altogether. All of these things are basic facts everyone can easily observe – not merely ideas someone can argue against. Impermanence of all forms is a fact, rendering the concept of the permanent “self” illusory. Since the very concept of self, and therefore ownership is provably an illusion, then all notions of ownership are also an illusion, including our ideas of the ownership of Truth.
Actual Truth is never an idea or a concept, which is precisely why it cannot be owned, as it is no thing. Only a thing or a concept can be “owned” if you will. The fact and Truth all is One is not an idea. It is both a fact and Truth. The claim of “ownership” by the ego – by any identity of any kind, whether it is a person, a being, a religion, an ideology, or any other belief is never truth. This is why saying “all is One” is different from saying “The only way to salvation is through Jesus Christ.” The saying “all is One” has no ownership claims, no ego – no identity or “thing” to attach itself to. It is simply a statement of what is. The saying, “The only way to salvation is through Jesus Christ” is an ownership claim – a claim of the ego since it is attached to the recognition of a specific person, or form, which by definition is never Truth because Truth has no form – no identity whatsoever because Truth is never limited to any notions of time and space, and with that – form itself. This is precisely why the notion of “God” as a separate “being,” “entity,” or “form” apart from creation is false. To suggest such a notion is a self-contradiction, like a “round square.”
In short, ego has nothing whatsoever to do with Truth, which is the reason why all so-called “ownership” claims for truth which therefore attach themselves to ego – to any identity whatsoever are always false, as Truth is Universal and inclusive. That which is not Truth is not universal and exclusive. Once again by their fruits… we shall know…